JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There are two types of families. Those that do not run 5K's on Thanksgiving morning and ones that do.
If you are unlucky enough to marry into a family that prefers the latter, don't panic. It's possible to run a 5K with little to no training and come out on the other side alive.
Here's what you need to know.
1. Set Realistic Goals
If you can't jog for twenty minutes straight, it's unlikely you'll be able to jog the whole 5K come race day. Be realistic with your level of fitness and what goals you want to accomplish. Is your goal simply to cross the finish line in one peice? Or are you going for a personal best mile split time? Be honest with yourself and don't overdo it!
2. Run/Walk Strategy
If you can't run the whole 5K, you can always incorporate a walking/running strategy. Try running for one minute and then walking for 30 seconds. If you need more of a break, you could try one minute of running followed by one minute of walking recovery. If you want a harder challenge you could always increase your running time but don't get burned out in the first few miles.
3. Plan your Running Outfit
It may seem silly, but sometimes what you wear on the course can make all the difference. If it's cold outside, prepare for that. If it's hot, don't overdress. Nobody wants to be stuck running with a bulky jacket tied around their waist. Keep in mind that your body will naturally warm up once you start running
4. Rest and Eat Well
Don't try to train the day before the race, or even two days for that matter. Your body will still be recovering and you'll need all the muscle power you can get on race day. Also, be sure to eat a carbohydrate plentiful breakfast before the race. Oatmeal with fruit, healthy cereal or even eggs with toast are all good options.
5. Have Fun
If you aren't a runner, a 5K is probably one of the last things you want to do at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving morning but at the end of the race, you will feel FANTASTIC. Try to enjoy the burn, the fresh air and know that when you finish you'll be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving mimosa or two knowing you earned it.
*Please consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.